Dhaka Art Summit: বন্যা/BonnaBangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh3 - 11 February 2023
ROH Dhaka Art Summit: বন্যা/Bonna

For Dhaka Art Summit 2023, ROH is pleased to present Aditya Novali's and Ade Dianita’s Significant Other, the latest iteration of an ongoing project inspired by the exchange between two artists, a brother and a sister. Ade is the younger sister of Aditya and lives with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as Down’s Syndrome, which impacts how she communicates and interacts socially with her family and wider society. Ade is a full-grown woman with the mental age of a 5-year-old, and through the development of their lifelong relationship, Aditya observed that Ade finds comfort in obsessively making drawings on a daily basis at home, drawings which bear a strikingly similar visual language and orderliness to his own abstract compositions that show at museums and galleries around the world. This work expresses a certain communication and bond between the two in a way that goes beyond words and intellect, a deep connection between siblings.

This site-specific installation brings the brother and sister pair together where Ade’s drawings, translated into overhead transparencies, are projected over Aditya’s 365 permutations of identical-sized canvases containing complex abstractions that are almost counterintuitively based on the way both Ade and Aditya were taught to draw in school, following the most basic structures of colonial-influenced Mooi Indie paintings—the sun, two mountains, and paddy fields. The images represented on each panel recall a time in Novali’s childhood that thereafter informs the current mental state of Ade, who in the (mis)perception of society, will forever be a child. Occupying the walls of an enclosed space, these canvases will be interpolated with scans of Ade’s drawings printed on transparent paper, which are then projected upon the canvases through a number of overhead projectors, establishing a contextual interrelationship between the works of both Ade and Aditya Novali.

ROH Dhaka Art Summit: বন্যা/Bonna
ROH Dhaka Art Summit: বন্যা/Bonna

The Dhaka Art Summit is an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia. With a core focus on Bangladesh, Dhaka Art Summit re-examines how we think about these forms of art in both a regional and an international context. Founded in 2012 by the Samdani Art Foundation—which continues to produce the festival—in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, DAS is hosted every two years at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Following the fifth edition subtitled Seismic Movements which welcomed nearly 500,000 visitors in nine days in February 2020, its sixth edition is the first edition with a Bangla subtitle; বন্যা/Bonna.

Born 1978, Surakarta, Indonesia
Lives and works in Surakarta, Indonesia

Aditya Novali received his Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture from Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung, Indonesia, in 2002; and an IM Master of Conceptual Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in 2008. Novali works with a variety of materials, often first conceiving an idea and then finding the right medium to transcribe his vision. His background in architecture influences his sensitivity to structure, space, and knowledge of construction – key elements of his approach and aesthetic. Addressing themes such as boundaries, identities, materialism, and urban life, Novali’s work interacts with the viewer and transforms with each viewing.

Novali’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and institutions both locally and internationally. Some of his previous exhibitions include recent solo presentations New Obsolescence: ADITYAVOVALI at ROH, Jakarta, Indonesia (2023); WHY at Tumurun Museum, Solo, Indonesia (2022); ME:DI:UM with ROH Projects at Liste Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland (2019); Significant Other at ShanghArt Gallery, Singapore (2019); Caprice with ROH Projects at Art Basel Hong Kong: Discoveries, Hong Kong (2018); and ACRYLIC at ROH Projects, Jakarta, Indonesia (2016); and notable group presentations Dhaka Art Summit: বন্যা/Bonna, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2023); On Muzharul Islam: Surfacing Intention at Dhaka Art Summit: Seismic Movements, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2020); The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA, Brisbane, Australia (2018); DIASPORA: Exit, Exile, Exodus of Southeast Asia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2018); The 15th Asia Art Festival: Multiple Spectacle Art from Asia, Ningbo Art Museum, Ningbo, China (2017); Imaginary Synonym, Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan (2016); Aku Diponegoro, National Gallery of Indonesia, Indonesia (2015); Shout! Indonesian Contemporary Art, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (MACRO), Italy (2014); Little Water, Dojima River Biennale, Osaka, Japan (2013); South East Asia (SEA)+ Triennale, National Gallery of Indonesia, Indonesia (2013); Of Human Scale and Beyond: Experience and Transcendence, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong (2012). Novali was nominated for Best Emerging Artist Using Installation at the 2016 Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore; Finalist in the 2010 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, and awarded Best Artwork in the Bandung Contemporary Art Awards (BaCAA) in the same year. 

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Photography by The Artist, Farhad Rahman, and Dhaka Art Summit 2023

Courtesy of The Artist, Dhaka Art Summit 2023, and ROH